Some time ago, I “exposed myself” to the internet presence of one semi-respectable magazine. Under the banner PEOPLE there were names of featured “personalities” and the tally of comments, relating to each. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson got over two thousand comments each, while Jesus (yes, Mr. Christ) got 19. Among featured “others” — politicians, sports stars, money embezzlers, artists, killers etc. –- no one was nowhere near as high as the first two, still leaving the Son of God in the dust.
Granted, it was a peak of high drama: with morbid fascination our nation and the entire universe was following the development of the two actors’ break up… Oh, the perils of young love! Betrayal! Shattering of broken hearts! Well, you know the story. You must. Even if you swear that you don’t. The capacity of our brains to absorb the information is limitless. Or, rather, inability of our brains to tune out the information is — like, wow! – totally unimpressive. (This out of character turn of phrase should appeal to the younger outcrop of readers, who wasn’t careful and got here by mistake.)
But I digressed right off the bat. All I hope to accomplish here is to re-post some pictures I found in the Russian edition of Esquire magazine, of all places.
Bear with me for a moment. As it appears, the Russian Esquire is a bit different in spirit than its venerable “father”, a men’s magazine, published in the U.S. by the Hearst Corporation, with its enticing motto: Esquire – Beautiful Women, Men’s Fashion, Best Music, Drink Recipes.
The Russian Esquire lists its main topics as being fashion and style, culture and arts, business and politics, personalities and interviews. And it “acts” accordingly, featuring a somewhat more “intellectually loaded” material.
In a way, while the U.S. Esquire is no more than a super-fat-and-glossy tabloid, the Russian one is still trying to infuse a touch of sophistication into Russian gentlemen everywhere. Without making anything resembling an actual difference, though, and still in every sense just an elegantly packaged pablum of entertainment.
Pablum is a processed cereal for infants originally marketed by the Mead Johnson Company in 1931. The trademarked name is a contracted form of the Latin word pabulum, which means “foodstuff.”
In a word, the magazine provides readers with a kind of pseudo-elitist experience, giving them a minute feeling that they are about to change the world… without the discomfort of getting off of their ergonomic chairs.
Now the images. It’s not beautifully photo-shopped ladies in dishabille, men’s fashion or pictures of designer cocktails. It’s — don’t you say! — several Nobel Prize laureates. The scientists agreed to explain their stellar achievements, sketching diagrams on large sheets of drawing paper…
Whatever for scientist is awarded the Nobel Prize? Can really great scientists make really great pictures?
Tip of a hat to the Russian edition of Esquire Magazine and the photographer Volker Steger.